Berlinale: Programme

Film File

NATIVe - Indigenous Cinema


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As beings of the night, the Mū live alongside the human world but are not part of it. They appear in Hawaiian legends and are manifest in stone statues. After the Mū are expelled from their lands, Nihipali and Na’iwi stay behind alone in the forest. When Nihipali comes across a human child, her desire to be seen by humans conflicts with her partner Na’iwi’s search for security. Shot entirely in natural light, director Ty Sanga’s beautiful tale in blue captures on film the life of the Mū spirits in the shadows of the Hawaiian islands.

Ty Sanga

USA 2009


20’ · Colour


Rava Shastid (Nihipali)
Moses Goods (Na'iwi)
Brendi Heresa (Pe'a)


Written and Directed by
Ty Sanga
Richie Yau
Dennis Alaniz
John Signor
Sound Design
Mark Hawkins
Mark Hawkins
Production Design
Sarah Potts
Keanu Kaupu
Assistant Director
Nick Corporon
Production Manager
Rachel Pearlman
Executive Producer
Matt Rubinoff


Ty Sanga

Born and raised on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, he studied film production at Chapman University in California as well as ethnic studies at the University of Hawaii. He is director of the Emmy Award-winning television documentary series ‘Family Ingredients’. His short film Stones premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His feature-length documentary Visions in the Dark: The Life of Pinky Thompson screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. He is currently developing the feature film project After Mele.


2009 Stones; short film 2014 Visions in the Dark: The Life of Pinky Thompson 2016 Family Ingredients; TV series 2018 Hae Hawaii; short film

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

Joyful Participation Pictures